Asanko Gold reported in mid-July that it is proceeding with construction of Phase 1 of its Asanko gold mine in Ghana. Phase 1 development is based on the Obotan gold project the company acquired when it acquired PMI Gold in February.
Early works at the project site began in April. Full project construction was scheduled to be under way by mid-August, with first gold targeted in the first quarter of 2016 and steady-state production anticipated in the second quarter of 2016.
Asanko Phase 1 development is based on a definitive feasibility study (DFS) of the Obotan project published by PMI Gold in September 2012. The DFS targeted approximately 2.25 million oz of gold production over an 11.5-year mine life, based on open-pit, contractor mining and a 3-million-mt/y carbon-in-leach processing plant.
The primary source of feed for the CIL plant will be the Nkran pit, with satellite pits at Adubiaso, Abore, and Asuadai being mined later in the project life. The DFS estimated capital costs at $296.6 million and cash operating costs at $626/oz ($722/oz including royalty and refining costs), with robust economic returns at $1,300/oz gold.
Asanko President and CEO Peter Breese said, "We have begun to evaluate the optimal way to implement Phase 2 in order to bring to account the additional 2.2 million oz of mineral reserves at Esaase, while capturing the synergies we forecast when we acquired PMI Gold and created the Asanko gold mine."
Asanko is continuing to work on detailed mine planning and pit sequencing optimizations, including a mine plan for the recently discovered, near-mine Dynamite Hill deposit. The company expects to publish a definitive project plan by the fourth quarter of 2014.